A Matter of Balance and Suggested Tips
It is worth reminding readers here, that project portfolio management is not just a question of selecting projects in pursuit of every profitable opportunity, and then overseeing the management them. Rather, it is a question of balancing the selection of projects within the limits of the financing and resources available and, most significantly, within the context of the strategic direction of the organization as a whole.
I believe that the following tips will be helpful in this regard:
1. Build on strengths
- Look to build upon the capabilities of your company, extend them, change them, and win new customers. Build on what is great about your company.
- This requires understanding what great is and what great looks like.
2. Attack weaknesses
- Improve processes, cut costs, and eliminate waste. Improve how well your company runs by removing what isn't working.
- Investments in process frameworks are not a loss but may need to be revisited. Look at how Lean Six Sigma has taken off. While this would be compared to a form of compressed waterfall vs. agile, it has still brought benefits without writing off the investment in Six Sigma alone.
3. Capture opportunities
- Make sure you have the capability, flexibility and ability to quickly iterate and increment, ready to grab opportunities as they arrive.
- This requires introducing a lean approach to vetting ideas and to modifying existing PDLC models and PPM platforms to accommodate the change.
- These adjustments are a good example of how people, not process, will drive the change and value creation that the company is looking for through their investment in PPM.
4. Control threats
- Make sure you work on those things that will hurt you later on. Improving architectures, engineering or projects that make sure we can tackle competition.
- Managing risk is important but it does require prioritization; that is, working on the most valuable things first.
5. Maximize return whilst balancing risk.
- Lastly, portfolio management offers us one of the best ways to maximize return whilst balancing that with risk.
- Our business cases need to be smarter and the indicators we've traditionally measured might need to be evaluated. For example, is Net Present Value the right measure, or is understanding our Cost of Delay more important?